retrofitting cabling

Old 06-14-04, 06:30 PM
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retrofitting cabling

In a few weeks, I'll be installing the phone/network/cable wiring in my home. Since I couldn't do it during construction, I'll essentially be retrofitting.

I'm running 2 CAT5's with 2 RG6Q in a single sheeth (about 3/4" round), 500' roll, purchased locally for less than $300. tax and shipping included.

I'm installing the patch panel in a central closet and using star topology to run wiring to all the rooms. I have both attic and floor access and will be installing the connections only on interior walls (no insulation to fight).

So, here are my questions..

Any tips on locating the outlets?
I'm think at least 2 outlets in each room, on opposing corners.

Should I go up through the floor or down from the attic?
Floor seems like it would be easier, and use less cable, but I think from attic would be better. Attic would probably be easier to locate interior walls as well.

How about how to locate the walls from the ceiling/floor?
I'll have to be drilling a 1" hole, so the margin for error is pretty small, and I'd like to just cut the hole in the wall for the box, push the the line through and fish it out the hole, then install the box and outlet panel.

For the initial feed from the supplier (ie phone and cable company), can I just run a length of the cable in the trench/conduit, to where I want the demarc box, and the leave enough on the pole end to go up the pole and make their connections, or do you think they will insist on using their own wiring, which means they will only install 1 RG6 and a 1 line phone wire, so any future upgrades would require another trench, or an arial run.

My electric is going to be underground (in conduit), I was thinking I could use the same trench, the electrical will be 36" deep, can I run my cabling in conduit at the same depth, or should I backfill it to say 24" then run my cable conduit?
Old 06-15-04, 06:14 PM
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I would go up from the basement. You can usually find the walls by looking where the electrical wiring goes up and into them. Going from the basement is important if there are cross pieces in the studs (I forget what they are called) that you can't bypass. I remember adding a coax line to my living room. I went from the attic. I had to remove a kitchen cabinet on the other side of the wall and drill a hole through just such a cross piece..

However, if you intend to finish the basement at some point then you might better go from the top.

500 feet of cable may not be enough, depending on the number of rooms you have.

2 runs per room should be more than enough, for most average size rooms. However, be careful where you locate them. Be especially wary of closets. If the wall space between the closet and the door is large enough, make sure that you place a cable there.

The phone company usually runs multiple phone lines on an initial installation, regardless of how many lines you actually are having installed. They may run three or even four to allow for future expansion without the need for their running new cables. Allow as much flexibility as possible to get from their termination to your wiring closet.

The cable company is another story. They will usually run one cable from their system to the house. The one cable is split into the various functions (TV, internet, phone, whatever services they offer that you pay for. gain, allow yourself flexibility.
Old 06-17-04, 10:25 AM
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Good info, so I don't really need to use my cabling (if they would even let me). I could probably ask the phone installer to run a multi-line wire, they are usually pretty good about that around here. I had a 6 line wire installed where I live now and I didn't even have to ask for it.

I don't have a basement, it's an insulated crawl space, so anything I put through the floor will require me to cut away the insulation and vapor barrier to locate, and then patch it back up. Which is the main reason I was leaning towards an attic install (even though it will take more wiring to do so).
I haven't investigated yet, but I believe the wiring may also be in the attic. I can't get back in the house until closing, so everything is on hold until then.

I'm thinking now of just running 1 outlet to the rooms that _have_ to have it, once the furniture is in and I know where it needs to be first. That way I can be assured I will have enough wiring for the primary uses, I can always add outlets later as I find needed.
Old 06-18-04, 05:50 PM
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Running cable is enough of a headache that I recommend that you plan as much as possible and run it all at once. It may be unlikely that you will want to repeat the exercise in the attic. Using a home run or star configuration will show you that 500 feet of cable is not much. I used 1000 feet in my house. Here is an account of how I wired my 65 year old house for Cat5.

Hope this helps.
Old 06-26-04, 10:47 PM
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For businesses, 110 connectors blocks are nice but the tidiness of structured wiring components for the home. OnQ has a few that are cool. I like the KSU prewire module (363485-01). 1x11 KSU/PBX Telecom Distribution, Supports 3 Incoming lines and 8 Extensions when used with a KSU type Telephone System. Supports 4 Incoming lines and 11 Extension when used with a standard telephone installation.
Old 06-30-04, 04:38 AM
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Don't forget to double up the run where you think the "home entertainment" equipment will be. I usually run 4 RG6 to this area so signals can be back-fed to the rest of the house. You will also need voice/data at the same area, soon all of your equipment will be chatting on your network. In my house I had an area (porch) with cedar siding... I didn't want to cut into it so I am using a wireless connection out there for data. The rest of the house has standard cabling (2 cat5e, 2 rg6, 2 fibers (it was free so what the heck)). I didn't bother terminating everything, will do that on an "as-needed" basis.
Be creative, what will the cabling be asked to do in the future? Good luck.
Old 06-30-04, 08:54 AM
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The top off the wall should be very obvious from the attic. The walls are installed before the drywall so there should be an obvious 2x4 after you move the insulation away. If you are still unsure where it is use piece of a wire coat hanger as a drill. Drill straight up in the ceiling corner and push the wire hanger up so you can see it from the attic. The hole will be so small you could leave it or very easily patch it with dob of spackle on your finger tip. The same tip works for going down into the crawl space.

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